The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to be the “Dream Team”, but the season turned into a nightmare very early. The team rallied strong, but missed the playoffs. Fans were upset, but should they have been?
The Eagles had a ton of new starters on defense and a defensive coordinator had never coached defense. The team didn’t have much of a training camp because of the lockout, so things looked bad early. Saying all that, with a training camp under their belt, will Philadelphia be dangerous this season?
Key Additions: LB DeMeco Ryans, DT Fletcher Cox, QB Nick Foles, RB Bryce Brown, WR Marvin McNutt, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Vinny Curry, S Oshiomoagho Atogwe, OT Demetress Bell, OG Mike Gibson, CB Kevin Thomas, CB Brandon Boykin, OT Dennis Kelly, P Mat McBriar and C Steve Vallos.
Key Losses: RB Ronnie Brown, WR Steve Smith, QB Vince Young, FB Owen Schmitt, DE Juqua Parker, DT Trevor Laws, OG Kyle DeVan, OT Tra Thomas, LB Moise Fokou and LB Greg Lloyd.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC North and NFC South
Fantasy Sleeper: RB Dion Lewis – LeSean McCoy just signed a lucrative deal to stay in Philadelphia long-term. A lot of backs regress the season after they earn a big deal. I’m not saying that McCoy will sleep on his pile of money and be lazy, but it is just a weird coincidence in the NFL. Ronnie Brown is no longer his backup and Lewis is the next in line. I don’t see Bryce Brown as a threat to overtake Lewis, but he was an elite talent out of high school…money could be his motivation.
Team Analysis: Michael Vick has already been knocked out of two preseasons games. Philadelphia will only go as far as Vick’s health can take them. Backup QBs Trent Edwards, Nick Foles and Mike Kafka won’t be able to fill-in and lead the Eagles to win the NFC East, the division is too good. Head coach Andy Reid felt comfortable with Kafka last season, but he has been injured. Foles has been a surprise and could leapfrog Kafka if he keeps playing well. LeSean McCoy got a lot of money this offseason and the Eagles have Dion Lewis and Bryce Brown on standby. I’m not a fan of Desean Jackson this season, but I feel like Jeremy Maclin will take another leap. The defense should be amazing this season. They will be tested with their non-divisional schedule. I see the Eagles contending for the NFC East crown and one of my favorites to make the Super Bowl.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 10.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 11-5